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Dover-Calais Ferry to Calais Ville train

I am currently in France with my husband, and we are taking a short trip to England to visit friends in London and in Dover. We are taking the train from Poitiers (SW France) to London, then the train to Dover for a day with our friend there. We have train reservations from Calais Ville station back to Poitiers through Paris, leaving at 13h25. My intention is to take the ferry from Dover to Calais as foot passengers. We will each have a small rolling suitcase and are good walkers. The man in seat 61 says it's a 15 minute walk from the Calais ferry dock to the Calais Ville station, but he says to arrive in Calais at least an hour before the train leaves. We have a choice of a 9h25 sailing, arriving 11h55, or 10h15 arriving 12h45. I would like to take the 10h15, but if there are complications in arriving or getting off the ferry, or the ferry is late, we could miss the train. My questions are: - How early do we need to get to the ferry terminal in Dover? - How much time should we allow in Calais to get to the Calais Ville station?
- Does anyone have any recent experience with the ferry from Dover to Calais, and connecting with the train from Calais Ville? Many thanks in advance for any and all helpful responses.

Posted by
55 posts

Anne, I recently travelled from London to Paris via Dover and Calais. My ferry was late and I very nearly missed my train. My advice would be to catch the earlier ferry. It is also worth noting that there were no obvious taxis when I arrived, so I had to run. 15 minutes may be optimistic. Mark

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for your response, Mark. We ended up taking the earlier ferry, and it all worked very well. For those thinking of doing this, here is how it worked for us:
We got to the ferry terminal an hour ahead of the 9:25 am departure. There was a shuttle bus that took us to the point of embarcation, leaving 45 minutes before departure. Ont he bus we went through a passport inspection, then a baggage inspection - all getting off the bus, putting the bags through the x-ray machine, and back on the bus - no problem. The ferry ride itself was great. We were fortunate to have at least some sun, and the white cliffs of Dover lit up brilliantly whenever the sun hit them - quite a sight. The ferry was on time, both departing and arriving, since the weather was not too bad - this again was good fortune, not somthing one could plan. The day before it had been running 1/2 hour late. At the Calais dock, there was another shuttle bus to the terminal building, and then we opted to take the bus from there into town for 2 euro each. The bus runs on a schedule which is not super frequent, so you would need to leave plenty of time there. We decided we could have walked it, but they had said the short cut was closed, so it was not a very nice walk, supposedly. Anyway, we got on the bus and waited for at least 20 minutes for the appointed bus departure time, but then it got us into town with almost an hour to spare for our train. We had time to admire the Hotel de Ville with its impressive clock tower and gardens, and the Rodin sculpture of the burghers of Calais. I would say it was definitely worth doing, given decent weather and leaving plenty of time on the Calais end. Of course the weather is impossible to predict more than a few hours ahead, so leaving plenty of time on the Calais end is the best strategy.